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1895

Southchurch Park - The Park was presented to the town in 1895 from three landowners, Messrs. Baxter, Dowsett, and Ingram, and has continued to develop, combining formal and informal areas. Relaxing gardens, recreational facilities includinSouthchurch Parkg, sports and play equipment keep the Park popular with all who visit.
Throughout the year the gardens are awash with colour as the bedding plants, herbaceous perennials and shrubs mark the changes in the season, providing joy to those who visit. Bowls, Tennis, Croquet, Football and Cricket all play a part in the yearly sporting calendar.

New School - One of the first secondary schools for boys and girls was opened in Clarence Street, adjoining the Municipal offices.  this continued as a school until 1902 until it moved to larger surroundings in Victoria Circus. 

Westcliff Station Opens - The station was requested by developers to enhance the building projects emerging in the area which was rising as an upmarket area, so much so the name for Westcliff at this time was being considerd as Kensington-on-Sea.  Fortunately it stayed as Westcliff.  The station today has changed little with the prestigously styled buildings on both sides of the platform.

Empire Theatre Destroyed - 6th January 1895 - Formerly the Public Hall, Empire Theatre in 1895 was completely destroyed by fire.  Situated in Alexandra Street, and when rebuilt would become once again a popular venue known under many  names including the Rivoli, ABC and the New Empire Theatre.  Although now it lies empty and up for sale.

Earl's Hall Estate Develops - Over the way from Priory Park and across the fields towards the Bell Pub, the first houses of the Earls Hall estate started to emerge this year.  Not completing until around 1930.  The proud Earl's Hall today is no more demolished in the 1960's and duely replaced by a tower block.

Treasure Trove - Towards the end of 1895, whilst digging in the brick field near the old Manor House in Shoebury, some labourers unearthed an almost perfect Roman Pot Kiln.  The discovery of some coins also fixed the date of its antiquity almost beyond doubt as 250AD to 300AD.  As the Romans who were in possession of Britain at that date had a large camp at Colchester it is probable that there was an encampment at South Shoebury on the site of this discovery.

A Town on the Move - From a map of 1895 Southend was full of green spaces which now would be full of houses and development.  Key features from that map show the area the Kursaal Amusement park was to occupy was then simply called Marine Park, which within an oval area housed cricket and football facilities, which would bode well for Southend United many years later as this area would become there home ground for a while.  Along Marine Parade and Eastern Esplanade the following pubs are named:

  • Castle Public House
  • Britannia Public House
  • Minerva Hotel
  • Ship Hotel
  • Hope Hotel

At the top of Pier Hill, the Palace (Metropole) Hotel is yet to be built, although St John the Baptist's Church stands out proud and would have been a key icon for the town at the time.

The High Street, as we know it today was only called this name from Pier Hill to the railway bridge.  There on it was named Whitegate Road, and in this area just north of the bridge sits predominatly the Middleton Hotel and the Brewery (Luker) today the Starbucks and the University building would occupy this area.

First Telephone in Town - From the Maplin Pile Lighthouse to the Southend Coastguard.  Ran the very first telephone in the town, connected for the sole purpose of saving life.

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